Category Archives: Basic Roleplaying

Survey Says!

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The RPG Rule System Preference Survey Results (a non-scientific study)

Twenty days ago I was having a conversation with friends over game complexity. The specifics of the conversation are unimportant, but the arguments were mainly whether people prefer a robust complex system with lots of options despite the complexity, or whether people would rather have a simpler system, even if that means fewer choices in mechanics, but that is easier to pick up and play. I had a feeling that while complex systems have their hardcore fans and familiarity lowers the difficulty to pick up newer versions of games even if they increase in complexity, when given the choice people choose simple over complex. So to get a feeling about the opinions of other role-players out there, I created a survey online and shared it on Facebook and Twitter to find out! Continue reading Survey Says!

RPG a Day 2015 Challenge – Day 20

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Fourth favorites RPG entry this week for the #RPGaDay2015 challenge! Big thanks to everybody who’s left a comment, liked or shared in social media, It’s good to be back blogging, and one of the best things is getting back in touch with the wonderful community of Stargazer’s World and the greater RPG blogging community.

The topic today is spine tingling, in special mythos vision!

Day 21 – Favorite horror RPG

No contest, Call of Cthulhu!

CoC

The first edition I owned!

Lately it seems Cthulhu is everywhere, like John Kovalic said in Dork Tower, Cthulhu is the bacon of gaming! There are so many systems you can play a Cthulhu game in, D20, Gumshoe (Trail of Cthulhu), Tremulus, and I’m missing a few, but for me the original Basic RPG, percentile based, Call of Cthulhu, is still the best.

Amazingly I’ve never run a CoC game! I’ve only ran a couple of horror one shots using a freeform system, a one shot zombie game and a 7 session zombie mini campaign using Savage Worlds, but never Call of Cthulhu. Why is that?

I really believe it has a lot to do with player expectations, CoC really requires a different mindset from the combat intensive, kill’em loot’em typical fantasy game, and sometimes players are not ready to play character with sanities flimsier than a Kleenex.

However, I LOVE playing horror games, I was spoiled by my good friend Luis Miranda who really ran some amazing Call of Cthulhu games. I would play another of his CoC adventures in a heartbeat.

On the last three posts I’ve listed all the genre media that inspired my love of those games, but in the case of Call of Cthulhu it was the game that introduced me to the works of HP Lovecraft, others that contributed to the mythos and all the wonderful horror literature inspired by this mythology. Granted Lovecraft can be a controversial figure, but his stories still hold my interest and I discovered so many wonderful authors thanks to this game, and that’s a good thing!

What’s your favorite horror game? Let us know in the comments. See you tomorrow.

PS – I might have shared them before, but I think they are appropriate for the post, the Reaper Cthulhu miniature (and that term is relative) painted by my good friend Braulio Rivera in front of a CoC boxed set. Enjoy…

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On being on the other side of the GM screen

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For years I’ve been almost exclusively been in the GM seat, but recently I’ve actually had the chance to play in other people’s games. And I have to admit, I really enjoy being able to play just one character.

I guess I’ve been talking about the SF game I planned to run for ages now. But alas my preparations never reached the point that it would be finally playable. Luckily one of my players offered to run Deathwatch again, so instead of struggling to get the new game ready, I could lay back and just enjoy the show. 🙂

Storm WardenIn Deathwatch I play Morgan, a Tactical Marine from the Storm Wardens, who recently joined the Deathwatch. My girlfriend takes the role of Skold, a Space Wolves Devastator Marine, who loves to put his Heavy Bolter to action. Last but not least we are accompanied by a Dark Angels Librarian called Xaphan, who is as mysterious as dangerous.

The three of us already freed a planet from a nasty Tyranid infestation, destroyed a Hive Ship almost on our own, and had some quarrels with a Tau army. This time we are sent to help with the reintegration of a lost colony into the Imperium of Man. On the way to this world we also stumbled upon the strange doings of a Tech Adept on board of a Rogue Trader ship. Not even travel to our mission objectives is ever boring and uneventful.

Deathwatch is definitely a bit more crunchy than the games I usually play, but it’s fun nevertheless. But I really hope that the coming adventure will be a bit more about investigations and diplomacy than just killing hordes of monsters. Don’t get me wrong, combat in Deathwatch is a lot of fun, but I want more out of my roleplaying games than just killing monsters and taking their stuff. And as Space Marines we don’t even loot.

Far TraderI also play in a bi-monthly online game. We started with a Realms of Cthulhu adventure, but since one of the players couldn’t join us the last two times, we switched to the Traveller campaign which has been in the planning phase for far too long already. In this game I play Arlen Coronaar, a Solomonai ex-scout who just recently was recruited as engineer for the Far Trader Penthesilea. Last Tuesday the first two player characters where finally introduced to each other, and as soon as possible we’ll start with the “real” campaign.  By the way, we actually use Basic Roleplaying instead of the actual Traveller rules. We even talked about using Savage Worlds. This might seem a bit weird for some Traveller fans but for my GM and me the most interesting aspect of the Traveller game has always been the setting and not the rules.

I have to admit not being in the GM position is a welcome change of pace. Don’t get me wrong, I very much enjoy being a GM, but it definitely puts more pressure on me than just being one of the players. And not having to run a game myself I have more free time to think about future campaigns. At the moment I am looking forward to converting my Fallout Fudged game to Fate Accelerated Edition. So don’t worry, I haven’t hung up the GM mantle yet. 😉